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Cross-cultural love

Reid Williams

SUMMIT COUNTY – Yves Piecoup saved all the money he could working as an advertising account executive in Paris and took a year-long sabbatical. But, along the way, he realized he couldn’t go back to the corporate world – he found something better, and her name is Cary.

The couple, now married for six years, met in Mexico. Yves was traveling around the world, and Cary, already living in Summit County, was on a six-month trek. They joined forces and traveled together for the next four months. By then, Yves had decided he would return home, quit his job and head for Summit County. A month after that, the two married.

“A friend here told me that if you can travel with someone for six months, day-in and day-out, or you can build a house with them, and you’re still able to talk to them, then you might be compatible enough to get married,” said Cary Piecoup Saturday, taking a break from collecting Save the Peninsula petition signatures in Frisco. “Well, we did one.”

Cary, a former Summit Sentinel-Journal staffer who now publishes the Summit County Menu Collection and keeps the books for her husband’s Peak One Painting company, moved to Summit County in 1991. Although she was born in Texas and lived in Kansas for a time, she said Summit County is home and it’s where she’s lived the longest.

When she returned from her travels in 1996, it was with her fiance. It didn’t take long for Summit County to feel like home to him, as well.

“My first day here, I bought a mountain bike,” Yves Piecoup said. “I love it now.”

Yves since has competed in the Montezuma’s Revenge 24-hour bike race three times. He and his wife spend much of their summer biking.

Yves found a job painting right away (on French Street, his wife points out). He said it was hard at first – going to work for someone new, in a new country, while his family was still puzzling over his marriage to an American and the good job he left behind. Other things took some getting used to.

“His first (telemark skiing) turns were sad,” his wife said. “I had no idea what he was doing.”

Three years later, their daughter Ella was born. The 3-year-old is growing up bilingual. She learns English from her mother, and her father speaks French to her exclusively. Her parents hope it will give Ella an extra skill when she gets older – and odds are, she’ll grow up with a travel bug just like her parents.

Having a baby hasn’t slowed the Piecoup pair down. Their daughter enjoys camping with them, the couple said. In the past year, they’ve traveled to Hawaii, Mexico and France (including Corsica). In November, they’ll travel to Costa Rica, where Yves plans to compete in an adventure race, and later on they’ll hit Cuba.

And while they travel extensively, Yves said living in Summit County is an adventure itself.

“I remember living in Paris, and to go on a weekend trip, you have to plan, everyone has to make arrangements and it’s a big deal,” he said. “But here, the adventure starts right outside your door. You can always find a buddy to go bike with. Here, it’s just heaven.”

Cary Piecoup thinks her family will stay here a while. They have great friends, she said, and good jobs. Growth worries her and Yves. She recalls being able to pass cars on Highway 9 and everyone waving at each other along the road; he recalls only three buildings on Airport Road when he moved here. That’s part of the reason, Cary said, she’s helping the Save the Peninsula group petition Frisco to nix any ideas for a golf course.

“I think about moving sometimes,” Cary Piecoup said. “I’m a gardener, so living here doesn’t help that. And I’m scared of the “if-you-build-it-they-will-come’ mentality to solve economic problems. But then I think about all the friends we have here, and how much there is to do here. And that’s why we’re here.”

Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 237 or rwilliams@summitdaily.com.


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